Sunday, December 16, 2007

Part 1 Done, Part 2 Beginning

Part 1 of this storm didn't behave anything like I expected it to. There are a variety of reasons why things didn't turn out. The influence of Olga striking Florida...the coastal storm not blowing up...all in all this storm has been a complex, disorganized mess...a forecasting nightmare to say the least.

We have changed back to snow now and should stay there as the coastal storm, now off the coast of New Jersey, continues to develop. The precipitation shield remains disorganized and broken, so some breaks in the precipitation are likely. I still think we should be able to squeeze 3-6" more out of this storm before it is done later tonight. However, the prospects for a snow-day tomorrow are no longer very high.

I will be updating the development in a few hours...

Saturday, December 15, 2007

10PM Update: A "Perfect Storm?"

The snow continues to pick up in intensity across the area and I don't think it will stop becoming heavy anytime soon. The snow/sleet line is still way south in central PA and not advancing north. I remain steadfast in thinking we will be all snow.

Even more interesting is what is happening in the southeast. The remains of Tropical Storm Olga are starting to show signs of getting caught up in the developing coastal low. If that happens, this low will have more moisture and will likely be strong than anticipated. Since the National Weather Service doesn't have the coastal low developing until late tomorrow off the New England coast, I am concerned that they are really blowing this forecast bad. We will have to watch and see how this thing continues to play out, but if anything, in the end, this could be a very memorable, historic storm across the entire eastern third of the country.

As Henry Margusity,'s Senior Meteorologist says in his blog...."It's like the perfect storm happening in front of our faces and we are just starting see it happening."


So it begins!

The snow has started to fall here ever so lightly, but it is just the start of things to come. Despite most other people still insisting on sleet mixing in, I am sticking to my guns and saying this will not happen. So far, it looks like conditions are starting to favor the all snow forecast.

Temperatures at the surface are in the 30's all the way into North Carolina. Another interesting thing going on in the Carolinas is the winds and pressures are starting to indicate the development of the coastal storm. This is happening way faster than the models projected. As a result, the low to the west of the Appalachian Mountains will not be as strong or make it as far north as the models show. This will in turn mean the warm air won't get in here...not that it would have an easy time doing so since the cold air is so entrenched anyways.

Another thing about the models and cold air is showing up over Ohio. The models had temperatures there in the upper 30's and low 40's...but instead, temperatures have stuck near or just above freezing. So the models are too warm as well, which also translates to a lower chance of sleet here.

All in all the models have not been handling this well so I have pretty much thrown out the recent runs and my thinking from the previous days has not changed. The only thing I would change on my snowmap from last night would be to extend the 12-18" line to include more of Western New York and maybe up the 18" to 20" or even 24". Other than that, everything looks good locally.

Now, as you wake up tomorrow, there will likely already be at least 3-6" of new snow. As the day goes on, the snow will become very heavy and the winds will pick up as well. This will make travel very, very dangerous, so if you don't have to go out tomorrow, stay home. This will continue into tomorrow night before tapering off sometime after midnight.

Final Snow Map

Here is my final predictions for the entire storm, not just limited to Groton. (click to zoom)

A couple of things to point out. First off, Groton falls in the pink, 12-18" range. Now for a while Sunday, warm air will try to move in. I don't think it will get here though, instead staying to the southeast where I have "sleet" written in. It is because of that sleet that snow totals are lower there. I am thinking the snow should start by 7 or 8PM Saturday. It probably won't get very heavy until after midnight, but we should already have 2-4" by Sunday morning. Through the morning hours, the snow will intensify and the winds will pick up. The temperatures will start to drop as well. By the afternoon, travel will become very dangerous. The snow will continue into Sunday night and not taper off until early Monday morning. It certainly looks like Monday will be a snow day.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Wasting no time!

Well, the first storm has pulled off and accelerated, meaning even the far eastern reaches of New England are mostly precipitation free. I recorded 6.4" here at my house...if you have any measurements, feel free to send them in!

Now, its already time to focus on the next storm. The National Weather Service didn't give us much of a break and has already issued a Winter Storm Watch. Piecing together what this says and what Henry Margusity of has been saying, I think our chances for a foot or more are pretty decent. I will issue a map for the entire East Coast sometime tomorrow and will likely go into "storm mode" Saturday afternoon. The snow should start sometime Saturday evening or Saturday night and last into Sunday night. Keep checking back for updates as things come together!

3 PM Storm Update

As of 2:30, I had a bit over 5" of snow at my house, though the snow has picked up considerably in the last 30 minutes. However, this storm is in its final stages now, and within the next 30 to 60 minutes, the snow should stop for a time. The snow will start up again later, but shouldn't be as heavy. Here is the latest radar:

As you can see, there is a dry slot just to our west. This has been becoming more pronounced all afternoon, which is why I am pretty certain the snow will stop completely for a while, just in time for the commute home. I would think another 1-3" will fall before all is said and done.

As for this weekend's storm, it is looking like we could be in for a big one. Not only will the snow be heavy, but the winds should be strong as well, making for near blizzard conditions. More on this later tonight and tomorrow.

Thursday Storm Update: 11AM

I am glad to see that some schools around the area, including Groton, closed today. The roads already are bad and they will only get worse as the storm progresses. The storm itself should wrap up and move out by later this evening. Total accumulations will reach 5-9".

Now, for the Senior Trip. Mr. Levick told me the plans are to leave around 4AM Friday morning. This storm should be long gone by then, only effecting Northern New England. The weather looks to remain quiet right through Friday and Friday night for the entire region, with just some light lake effect flurries. Looks like good timing!

I will update more on the nor' easter later this afternoon.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Duel Storms Update: 11PM Wednesday

Two significant winter storms will effect the area over the next 5 days, the first one being tomorrow and the second one on Sunday. Here are my latest thoughts:

For tomorrow's storm, it appears we are in for a 4-8 hour period of some very heavy snow. This will likely fall tomorrow afternoon, making the trip back from school hazardous. I would not be surprised if school around the region let out early tomorrow and can almost assure you that after school and evening activities will be canceled. We are looking at a good 5"-9", maybe 10" or 11" snowfall tomorrow. The snow should be tapering off towards evening. I understand the Class of 2008 is heading to New York City tomorrow night...if someone would let me know what time they are planning on leaving, I could try to piece together a forecast for the trip down. But unless I know what time departure is, I can't really say if this trip will get snowed out or not...but Friday should see an improvement in the weather that will last into Saturday until....

...the bigger of the two storms on Sunday! This storm looks to be a classical nor' easter, with plenty of cold, wind and snow in store for much of the Northeast. Here in Central New York, it looks like the worst may come Sunday afternoon and evening, with heavy, blowing snow making travel very dangerous. This storm will have more moisture to work with than Thursday's, so snow totals should be higher. In fact, this system may be able to pick up some extra moisture from ex-Tropical Storm Olga. I haven't mentioned Olga before partially because I have been busy, but also because hurricane season ended November 30th. However, Olga formed near Hispaniola earlier this week and may have its moisture sucked into this storm. Back here, it looks like we could be in store for a foot or more of snow from this one. Stay tuned over the next couple of days as this storm gets ironed out.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

storm after storm...then maybe a BIG one!

Storm system after storm system will continue to parade across the country. One is moving though right now with rain; another is forecast to move through Thursday. However, my focus is already on the weekend in what is already being dubbed "The Superstorm of 2007"!

A storm system will sweep out of the South Central US into the Southeast, reform off the coast of North Carolina and zip up the coast Sunday. This storm does look to be a fast mover, meaning snow totals will likely be lower than they would otherwise. You have heard me say it a million times before, but it is worth saying again: Its too early to give totals yet, but if I had to go out on a limb and hint at an amount, I would say a double-digit snow fall is possible.

I am now done with my first semester of college, which means I now have plenty of time to watch and forecast for this storm...that can't be said about the past week! So, keep checking back! I will most likely be doing updates at least twice a day from now in the morning on the normal website, then a blog at night. Of course, that is just the minimum!


Sunday, December 09, 2007

Sunday-Monday Precipitation Map

Most of this precipitation will fall this evening and overnight, tapering off Monday morning.

Monday, December 03, 2007

Lake Effect Maps

Here are a couple of maps illustrating my thoughts on the lake effect snow. The map on the left shows an approximation of the band set up. This doesn't mean the heaviest snow will form right in these areas. Instead, it is just to show that there will likely be multiple bands of heavy snow embedded in a general spray of lake effect. Likewise, with the snow fall amounts, not everyone in the 6-12" or even the 3-7" range will get that much. That all depends on the set up of the bands.

Sunday, December 02, 2007

The snow (ice) day question...

A large area of freezing rain and rain has moved into the area. This should stay as freezing rain until 11 or midnight, but then the warm air will win out and change it over to rain. The precipitation should taper off to just showers by 3 AM anyways. So, I get the job of brining bad news to all you hoping for a day off tomorrow:

I don't think its going to happen. Sorry!

See-saw Forecast

I have gone back and forth on this forecast so much all weekend, but now that things are actually happening, I think that a combination of forecasts are coming together to be the most likely scenario. We picked up nearly 4" of snow last night and I think it is a safe bet to say we can squeeze another 1-4" out of this, putting us right in the 5-8" range I predicted. However, I underestimated the warm air aloft, which means the sleet and freezing rain that has started to occur will continue.

Right now, there is a bit of a lull in the storm as the first wave of energy passes. The low itself is still back to our west and is enhancing the precipitation downstream of us. This will move in later this evening and last through tomorrow morning.

As for a day off from school, I am less confident now than yesterday, but I still think there is a decent chance. I would think at the very least a delay would be in store. I will try to update with a more certain answer tonight, but I may not be able to before 9:30 or 10.

Saturday, December 01, 2007

Saturday Evening Analysis

Ok guys, here we go. The National Weather Service has the area under a Winter Weather Advisory, a choice I disagree with. They are still insisting the snow will mix with sleet, then change to freezing rain and even some rain. They are currently projecting 2-5" of snow, with up to 0.25" of ice. However, it is so cold (in the teens and single digits) that I do not see enough warm air intruding to change that over to freezing rain, and certainly not plain rain. There may be some sleet tomorrow evening and overnight, but I think that majority of this will be snow.

Because of this, I am going to keep my snow map the same. I am going to stick with my gut and still say 5-7" of snow and sleet. The snow will start overnight tonight, closer to morning and continue right through Monday morning. There will likely be a lull tomorrow during the afternoon as the low transfer's its energy off the coast. It should pick up overnight again though. The winds will be strong as well, blowing the snow around.

As for a snow-day Monday, I am not totally sold one way or the other yet, but if I had to say something, I would say no school Monday in Groton. We'll see how this develops tomorrow, so make sure to check back!

On a side note, if you are ever need a forecast for areas from Syracuse north to Watertown and east to Old Forge, I have launched yet another website with a few of my fellow weather nerds, so be sure to check it out!